Today we launched our first rural community currency! The event went well to initiate and train the first 20 members and setup a local market day.
Our first cooperative maize milling factory has been setup as backing for a rural community currency which will start circulation in the following months. The factory mills local maize and issue vouchers for its flour. The vouchers are issued for environmental service work managed by Green World Campaign and as a mutual-credit to hundreds of local businesses, farmers, schools and clinics. The community has also setup their first local weekly market as a hub for trade. We're really excited about this first rural community currency!
The initial capital that is required to get the maize mill going came 50% from our sponsors and donors and 50% as community contribution. The community currency is backed by the inventory of the maize mill as a last resort as well as the goods and services of the farmers, shops and schools in the area. We expect that a community currency in rural areas like Miyani to fully circulate on a weekly basis. This is over 2x slower than in Urban areas because the circulation is focused on weekly markets and less on daily spending. We expect at least a 20% increase to local employment in the next year as well as a 20% increase to incomes. Program management and growth in program is supported by the maize milling operation. As sales grow there is reinvestment into the mill and the sales will grow to neighboring communities.
Environmental Service Credits: In addition to creating a credit that moves through the community, profits from cooperatives businesses also support community currency as a reward for environmental services. in partnership with Green World Campaign we reward students that plant and tend to indigenous trees and also farming groups that promote water conservation and agroforesty. This creates not only a sustainable market economy also importantly a green one. Environmental services by Green World Campaign include agroforestry, environmental education and water catchment. As the maize mill sells flour for the vouchers issued as a credit to the local community, these vouchers are then used to support those environmental services. Community members taking part in those services, like tree planting, can then use the vouchers in the community and the cycle continues.
Caroline Dama training on Community Currency. Community Currency demo among women farmers, shop keepers and crafts people.